Together, we can stamp out human kindness! Get it? Get it? Eh?
  • catwalker /
  • Together, we can stamp out human kindness! Get it? Get it? Eh?
The best thing I can say about Ayn Rand is that she didn't write very many novels. I'm grateful to her for that, because she's already single-handedly responsible for helping generations of young affluent white people believe that they've pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. Imagine if she'd also written a fantasy trilogy about the importance of the free market, say, or a Da Vinci Code-style thriller about the discovery of George Washington's hidden anti-environmental regulation tract? Things could have been much worse, is what I'm saying.

So imagine my distress at reading this Wall Street Journal story about the publication of a lost Ayn Rand novel next year: "'Ideal' tells the story of a screen actress who is accused of murder and visits six of her most devoted fans to ask for help." (Asking for help? That doesn't sound very Randy.) Rand was dissatisfied with Ideal as a novel, but she eventually published a theatrical adaptation of the same story. Next July, Penguin Random House will publish the 135-page prose work as a "short novel," in an edition that also includes the text of the play.

The publication of a book that Ayn Rand never wanted to publish is not likely to set the world on fire, of course, but it does provide her legacy with a whole new round of press attention, which is likely to drive fresh waves of curious readers to her more popular novels, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Just as we were coming down off a disastrous film adaptation of her most popular novel, and just as her popularity started to wane, we'll see another reemergence of the most boring people on earth: new Ayn Rand fans.